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"Inequality and...?" Lectures Series

The purpose of the "Inequality and ...?" lectures series is to provide a forum where the research community, the private and public sectors and the general public in Luxembourg can gather around a theme which researchers have traditionally associated with this country, namely, income studies in a broad sense. The Luxembourg Income Study (LIS) was created in 1983. LIS has become the leading cross-sectional database of micro-economic income data for social science research. Today it benefits from a worldwide reputation.

The unifying thread of the lectures is the concept of inequality, that is, differences in the distribution of some attributes, such as income and wealth, among the population. Each lecture tackles the links between these differences and a central social phenomenon. Each lecture is a source of inspiration for an audience with different levels of expertise, ranging from a general educational level through BAs in social sciences to accomplished researchers.

Professor Conchita D'Ambrosio has established the lecture series in collaboration with the Chambre des Salariés, CREA, the European Investment Bank Institute (EIB Institute), LIS, LISER and STATEC. Financial support from the the Fonds National de la Recherche (FNR) is gratefully acknowledged.


Our past lectures  

2018 Inequality and...? Lectures Series

2017 Inequality and...? Lectures Series 

2016 Inequality and...? Lectures Series

2015 Inequality and...? Lecture Series

2014 Inequality and...? Lectures Series

2013 Inequality and...? Lectures Series


Our 2019 lectures    

Upcoming Events

Inequality and the Art Market

Dr. Andres Solimano, International Center for Globalization and Development (CIGLOB)

6 June 2019, at 13,00

European Investment Bank

98-100, Bd Konrad Adenauer, Luxembourg

At a time of high wealth concentration at the top, investors are directing part of their wealth to the art market, that mobilizes annual sales of around 67 billion dollars and rising. Art prices grew more rapidly than stock prices in the run up to the global financial crisis of 2008-09 but its recovery in the period 2009-18 has been weaker than the strong upsurge in stock prices. Is artwork a “safe-haven” asset? Two pieces of evidence are explored in this lecture to address this question: (i) the behavior of real gold prices during the great depression of the 1930s, the stagflation of the 1970s and the global financial crisis of 2008-09 and (ii) correlation analysis between art prices and stock, oil, gold and bitcoin prices.


Register for this event





        ...In a  nutshell                                

              Full Lecture                                                  

         Full slide presentation                                       




Inequality and TBA

Costas Meghir, Yale University, NBER and IFS

European Investment Bank

26 June 2019


Inequality and Its Measurement

Satya R. Chakravarty, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata

Lunedi’ 8 Luglio,  13,00

Black Box (Ground Floor), Maison des Science Humaines (MSH), Campus Belval,
11, porte des Sciences
L-4366 Esch-sur-Alzette


Inequality and Homeownership

Charles Horioka, Asian Growth Research Institute

European Investment Bank

25 September 2019


Inequality and Pain

Michael Wolfson, University of Ottawa

European Investment Bank

5 November 2019





 2019 past lectures

Inequality and the Elites

Michael Hartmann, Technischen Universität Darmstadt                                                                           

16 May 2019

At first glance there are two striking aspects of the relationship between inequality and the elites: first, the unequal representation of the different classes of the population among the elites and, second, the consequences of actions by the elite on social inequalities, particularly in terms of the distributions of income and wealth. Nevertheless, when we deepen the analysis, we can see that that there is a close relationship between the two. Thus, the more exclusive is the social recruitment of the elites, the more their actions will benefit the rich. The neo-liberal turn of the 1980s is one example of this, due to the social recruitment of the political elite that had changed radically in favour of politicians from the upper class..




        ...In a  nutshell                                

              Full Lecture                                                  

         Full slide presentation                                       




Inequality and Public Opinions

Leslie McCall, CUNY                                                                              

11 April 2019

This talk will present a framework for understanding how, in the United States, public opinions about inequality, economic opportunity, and redistribution are related to one another in ways that are at odds with key tenets of American exceptionalism, such as American dream and free market ideologies. The framework posits that Americans connect rising and high levels of economic inequality to a restriction of economic opportunities that in turn motivates support for opportunity-enhancing policies (e.g., in education and employment). McCall and collaborators test this model using survey experiments and new survey questions in nationally representative surveys, including, for comparative purposes, in Sweden and Denmark.




        ...In a  nutshell                                

              Full Lecture                                                  

         Full slide presentation                                       




Inequality and Consumption

Tullio Jappelli, University of Naples Federico II                                                                                   

27 March 2019

There is a long debate on how one should measure inequality or poverty. The first part of the lecture will focus on the pros and cons of using the consumption distribution to measure inequality and poverty, rather than more traditional measures based on income or wages. The second part of the lecture deals with the underlying determinants of consumption inequality, on why economic shocks can lead to spreading of consumption inequality, how households can cope with these shocks, and how their response depends on the development of insurance and credit markets. The questions addressed include: how should we measure consumption? how does consumption respond to income shocks? why do people respond in different ways? can fiscal policy raise consumption demand? Empirical illustrations draw on data for Europe and North America.




        ...In a  nutshell                                

              Full Lecture                                                  

         Full slide presentation                                       




Inequality and Beliefs

Christina Fong, Carnegie Mellon University

13 March 2019

People who believe that an unequal outcome is meritocratic are more likely to accept it. However, just as inequality can be conceptualized abstractly as “high” or “low” or more precisely as shares of specific percentiles of the distribution (e.g., the income share of the top tenth of a percent), beliefs about inequality can be abstract or more specific. Some beliefs concern justice in the economy as a whole while others concern the deservingness of specific income classes or racial groups, such as “poor”, “rich”, or “black” people. This talk reviews the literature on different types of beliefs and the different ways in which they can affect redistributive politics.





...in a nutshell                             

Full lecture                                                                                                               

Full slide presentation


Inequality and Beliefs (interview)




Inequality and Educational Prosperity

J. Douglas Willms, The Learning Bar

6 February 2019

Educational prosperity is an assessment framework that can be used to assess the capacity of a school district, state, or country to develop children’s literacy skills and well-being, to set goals for increasing their capacity, and to monitor progress towards those goals. The framework follows a life-course approach, with key outcomes for each of several stages of development. These outcomes are referred to as ‘prosperity outcomes’. This lecture will review family, institutional and community factors that drive these outcomes and show that if countries build strong foundations for success for each stage of children’s development, its children will thrive.






...in a nutshell                             

Full lecture                                                                                                               

Full slide presentation 


Inequality and Educational Prosperity (interview)
Inequality and Educational Prosperity (Conference)



Inequality and Women in Politics

Alessandra Casarico, Bocconi University

16 January 2019

Inequality in political empowerment between men and women is higher than in the economic sphere. According to the Global Gender Gap Index (World Economic Forum, 2017), the world has closed only 23% of the gender gap in politics. In Europe, women represent 30% of politicians in legislative bodies and 29.5% in government cabinets (EIGE, 2018). What is the source of this inequality? Why do we care about eliminating it? Are there effective policies to promote female political empowerment and reduce gender gaps in the political arena? This lecture will present recent research addressing the above questions, while offering a picture of gender inequality in politics, and the challenges ahead.






...in a nutshell                             

Full lecture                                                                                                               

   Full slide presentation


Inequality and Women in Politics (interview)